TALK­ING THIS­TLE Dan in­sists no bet­ter time for Jags to go on a win­ning run

Evening Times - - SPORT - By SU­SAN EGEL­STAFF

PARTICK This­tle de­fender Danny Devine is un­der no il­lu­sions as to how vi­tal his team’s next three matches are in their quest for sur­vival in the Lad­brokes Pre­mier­ship and he knows that if they are to go on a run of wins, there would be no bet­ter ti me than this Satur­day for it to be­gin.

This­tle cur­rently sit in 10th po­si­tion in the Pre­mier­ship but face ninth-place Dundee at Firhill this week­end. And with the Dens Park side just one point ahead of the Jags, Devine’s team could go above them as well as St John­stone, who do not play un­til Sun­day.

And with This­tle hav­ing put in a stir­ring per­for­mance against Celtic in the Scot­tish Cup last week­end, which saw the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons scrape a 3-2 win, Devine is con­fi­dent that his team are in good form.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to the Dundee game and the boys are rar­ing to go, es­pe­cially af­ter our se­cond-half per­for­mance against Celtic,” he said.

“There were a lot of pos­i­tives to take from that game if you take out the first 15 min­utes. But this week­end, it’s a dif­fer­ent game – it’s in the league and it’s a big op­por­tu­nity for us to leapfrog Dundee so the boys are ea­ger to get go­ing.

“It is a big game and there is quite a bit of pres­sure on it but the boys will put that to the back of their heads and just go out there for the three points.

“It’s im­por­tant for us to creep up the ta­ble. We’ve had a lot of in­juries and set­backs this year, but it’s still dis­ap­point­ing that we’ve been lin­ger­ing at the bot­tom of the ta­ble. We’re run­ning out of games now so if there’s ever a time for us to start pick­ing up points, it’s now and it has to start on Satur­day.”

FOL­LOW­ING the Dundee game, This­tle will then face Hamil­ton and Ross County who are at the bot­tom of the ta­ble and Devine knows that rack­ing up some points in the next few weeks could en­sure their sur­vival this sea­son.

“The next three games are vi­tally im­por­tant for us be­cause it’s the teams who are round about us so if we’re ever go­ing to put a run to­gether, to start that on Satur­day would be per­fect,” he said.

Devine has re­gained his place in the team af­ter a spell on the side­lines and he ad­mits that it has been great to be back play­ing.

“It was tough when I was out be­cause I missed a cou­ple of games and the boys were do­ing well and picked up a bit of form,” he said. “They got a cou­ple of good re­sults but that’s foot­ball and you just have to bide your time.

“But it was good for me to get back in against Rangers and then go up against Celtic, so things are very pos­i­tive for me. Hope­fully I can get more game time in the next few weeks.”

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